This house in Saitama, Japan, by Naf Architect & Design looks like it's been chopped in two and split open.
Architect Akio Nakasa of Naf Architect & Design designed the three-storey House Snapped for a couple and created two sections to separate the pair's shared activities, such as dining and relaxing, from private ones, such as dressing and working.
"The composition of this residence was inspired by a phrase of the client couple, 'stranger hours'," said Nakasa. "This is a witty phrase describing the relationship of the couple, which is not always stereotypically close but sometimes distant like strangers."
The smaller side of the building is intended to accommodate the "stranger hours" and contains bedroom and bathroom spaces, while the "shared hours" are assigned to living and dining rooms in the largest side of the house.
A round wooden column is positioned at the junction between the two sides, emphasising the appearance of a hinge.
Each room inside the house has a different floor surface, chosen to suit the activities taking place inside. A wool carpet was selected for the bedroom for its sound-absorbing qualities, while the kitchen and dining room has a mosaic floor that will reflect sound and one of the studies is covered with soft cork tiles.
"The height of the ceiling and flooring materials are chosen according to the nature of the space in order to increase the quality of the time the couple spends together," added Nakasa.
The exterior of the house is clad with timber boards, painted in a vivid shade of blue, while the hinged middle features a contrasting white-rendered surface. A triangular lawn occupies the space in between.
Naf Architect & Design also recently completed a house with a climbing wall and ladders between floors. Other residential projects include a renovated house with a wooden box at its centre.
Photography is by Toshiyuki Yano.
Here's a full project description from Akio Nakasa:
Two buildings, large and small, stand on L-shape plot adjoining at the corner. The form of the two buildings comes is as if one building snapped in two, and they are placed along the shape of the site.
A column stands at the adjoining corner of the two buildings, and four zones, yard, entrance, small and large buildings, are placed radially. Four zones can be shared or partitioned using sliding doors.
The composition of this residence was inspired by a phrase of the client couple, "stranger hours". This is a witty phrase describing the relationship of the couple, which is not always stereotypically close but sometimes distant like strangers.
The antonym of "stranger hours" may be "shared hours". The large building incorporates living room, dining room, and kitchen where the couple spend "shared hours" and the small building in the back of the plot incorporates bedroom, bathroom, and toilet where the couple spend "stranger hours".
The height of the ceiling and flooring materials are chosen according to the nature of the space in order to increase the quality of the time the couple spends together, whether it is "shared hours" or "stranger hours". For example, the living room has vaulted ceiling and flooring with high reflectance material for the voices to reach one another. The bedroom has low ceiling and flooring with sound absorption material to keep tranquility.
The yard, where the couple and their neighbours exchange greetings, is covered with soft lawn. The entrance, which accepts all kinds of guests, has whisper concrete finishing which gives more formal impression.
Four zones placed around the column may be flexibly used according to the situation, allowing a compact and comfortable lifestyle.
Name of the project: House Snapped
Location: Saitama City, Saitama
Category: detached house
Structure: Wood construction
Number of storeys: 2 storeys above ground
Maximum height: 8.432 m
Maximum eave height: 6.411 m
Frontal road: 4.00m on the east
Site area: 108.49m2 Building area: 51.04m2
Total floor area: 81.41m2
Completion: April 22, 2012
Architect: Akio Nakasa (principal architect), Daisuke Aoki